Amazon Lands Three Major Publishers for Android Tablet

| Rumor

Amazon has reportedly done what Google hasn’t and landed three major publishers for the Android-powered tablet the company is expected to release during a media event on Wednesday

Kindle Publishing

Citing unnamed industry sources, AllThingsD reported that Amazon has signed on Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith, three of four biggest magazine publishers. The fourth would be Time Inc., and those same sources said a deal wasn’t likely before Wednesday’s media event.

Time also doesn’t have an all-encompassing deal with Apple, either, preferring to sell magazines as individual apps in the App Store, rather than as subscriptions through Apple’s subscription system.

Terms of the deals are supposedly close to the 70/30 deal that Apple has worked out with all four of those magazine publishers, but AllThingsD said that there may have been some wiggle room on the publisher’s 70% and Amazon is willing to do what Apple won’t and fork over customer data to the publishers.

This has been a sore spot with publishers who want that data for marketing and reselling purposes. Apple has insisted on maintaining control over the customer transaction and has heretofore refused to hand over that data to publishers. 

If the report’s sources are accurate, Amazon isn’t quite as squeamish about selling out its users.

The Kindle tablet versions of these magazines will be similar to the ones developed for iPad, but they will reportedly be tweaked for the smaller 7” display of Amazon’s tablet.

The publishers who have signed up with Apple are reportedly keen on the opportunity of having a new digital distribution point.

One unnamed source said, “You’ve got beauty and design with Apple, which we love, but with Amazon you have marketing, and ease of use. We’re very optimistic.”

The Mac Observer will be providing live coverage of the Amazon event.

Popular TMO Stories



Terms of the deals are supposedly close to the 70/30 deal that Apple has worked out with all four of those magazine publishers…

Hmm, very interesting…  Similar to digital music, Apple sets the bar and that bar quickly becomes the standard, or at least the negotiating starting point…

But good for Amazon.  They are well positioned to succeed here.  I still think that Apple should release a mid-sized iPad to compete here, but it may not be in the cards.


And what of privacy?

“Publishing sources say Amazon?s terms will roughly mirror the ones that Apple has established with most magazines this year: Publishers will keep around 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and the retailer will share some customer data with the publishers.”  AllThingsD, supra.

That the financial terms are so similar to the financial terms that the publishers have with Apple shows that publishers’ objections to Apple’s terms was never about Apple’s 30% commission.  The real issue of dispute was and is the disposition of customers’ data. 

Well, Amazon has agreed to share some customers’ data, without giving the customer any right to consent to such sharing, except for an initial take it or leave it proposition, where a customer either consents to Amazon acquiring and disposing of his data, constrained only by our weak privacy laws, or forgoes most, if not all, of Amazon’s services.  That access to customers’ data without any meaningful consent from the customers is what Amazon is offering, and publishers can’t wait to jump at it.

After all, being in the App Store and having to obtain a customer’s informed consent to acquire and use his data is so, well, troublesome, and anyone of those damned customers might just say no.  Working with Amazon avoids that saying of no, unless the customer is ready to do without an Amazon-Android tablet.


I’m keen to see what Amazon introduces on Wednesday, and I’m open to purchasing a 7” tablet / Kindle from them, but not if they sell my info to anyone without my consent.

I object to the accumulation and selling of my personal info (“dossier”); it’s a breach of privacy AND trust. I’d prefer that our privacy laws were stronger, and that the burden of responsibility for restoring a stolen identity were on the negligent / breaching party, rather than the victim.* I would bet that identity theft would become much more rare if that were so. Perhaps our friend Nemo might weigh in on what would be reasonable and strong privacy laws.

*In the US, it costs the victim on average over $1,800 and over 300 hours to resolve ID theft.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account